Running from from 8th to 12th March the ITB brings together a unique Circle of buyers and bloggers from 184 represented countries and more than 10,000 companies and provides strong global networking opportunities among global tourism players.
The Cabinet Secretary, Tourism, Najib Balala affirmed Kenya’s commitment to the tourism sector for the contributions she brings to the country.
“Tourism contributes 9 percent of the country so it is key. It creates jobs and wealth for our economy. We are going to do everything to support the sector,” said CS Balala.
The Kenya government, through the Ministry of Tourism, has initiated a Charter Incentive Program which is expected to run for the next two and a half years. The programme is among many initiatives that the Ministry of Tourism is working on to recover the tourism industry and lost business.
As part of boosting tourism and encouraging global businesses to invest in tourism and other sectors in the country, KTB plans to administer charter incentives programs with the assistance of an inter-agency committee comprising the Ministry of Tourism, Kenya Tourism Federation, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the Department of Immigration.
The Kenyan delegation led by CS Balala rode on the positives that Kenya has recorded in the recent past including key international events and high profile personalities that the country has hosted to profile the destination.
He further affirmed that Kenya remains a destination of choice for many travelers due to her key attractions including home of the authentic Safari, diverse wildlife, relaxing beaches and warm lively culture and spirit. He further incentivized Kenya’s recent travel milestone to tap onto global representatives at the ITB 2017.
“Kenya was recently given the go-ahead on the 23rd February 2017 to operate direct flights to the US following successfully passing security and safety audit tests by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) scored Category 1 security and safety. This development will ease travel experiences into Kenya as we know it, and demonstrates thegrowth and development of civil aviation in Kenya and East Africa,” said CS Balala.
The approval of Kenya's application has elevated the country's profile as East Africa’s regional economic hub. Over the years she has received positive global attention arising from various endorsements and success in various international events.
Examples of these international meetings Kenya successfully hosted include ASTA in February, 2017 and Africa Investment and Finance Forum February 2017. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD14) July 2016, Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD) August, 2016 among others.
“Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, has topped the list of the most strategic city for multinationals beating the South and West parts of Africa. The Africa Integration Index by Visa confirms the attractiveness of the city due to its expansive dual air connectivity with Africa and the rest of the world,” added KTB CEO,Dr. Betty Radier.
Additionally Nairobi hosts diverse top of the range international and multinational clients and organizations such as The World Bank, The America Embassy, US PeaceCorps, the UNEP, Google, General Electric, Dow Chemical among others.
In step the United Nations organization UNWTO declaring 2017 the ’Year of Sustainable Tourism’ the Kenya delegation reiterated Kenya’s commitment to Sustainable Tourism, which was also in line with the economic, ecological and social aspects that represent the sustainability goals of the Agenda 2030.
The KTB CEO, Dr. Betty Radier declared that Kenya will be taking continued measures to ensure Kenya remains a sustainable destination for global generations to come.
“Kenya is anchored by successful conservation models and which remain an integral part of the diverse tourism product. As a country, we continue to engage mechanisms to protect our wildlife, nature and culture to ensure continued enjoyment of the haven destination our country is,” concluded Dr. Radier